The context would be when making a suggestion. For example, if I am with a group of friends and everyone is hungry I could say:

"There is a restaurant nearby. Just saying."

If me and some friends want to watch a movie I could say:

"Schwarzenegger, has a new movie out. Just saying."


Users @Vicky and @aschepler provided a much better explanation of what I am trying to convey:


'"Just saying" means "I am hinting that we should go to the place / do the thing I just mentioned, but I don't want to explicitly suggest that" in a slightly jokey way.'


'...meaning, "It's not that I especially want to act on this. I merely thought it could be helpful information. It's fine with me if we act on it or not." Though in some situations with enough context and/or a sarcastic tone, it could instead be used to throw humor on how much I do want to act on the info.'

  • That's not enough information! Can you provide a non-idiomatic English translation of "Just saying?" It could mean, "I am non-committal about the info I'm providing," or it could mean, "I am correct, and you should have noticed this fact without me pointing it out." Maybe, it means something very different, or specific to you.
    – jpaugh
    Jun 10, 2019 at 4:58
  • Actually, I don't speak German, and can't give an answer. But these German translations might all have different meanings, depending on how the answerer understood the English idiom.
    – jpaugh
    Jun 10, 2019 at 5:01
  • @jpaugh, point taken. I edited the question. Jun 10, 2019 at 10:32
  • If it helps to understand the meaning, there's a similar Romanian expression: ...ca fapt divers. Which literally means "as a random fact." You can use it in the exact same way. When discussing where to eat: "Restaurantul ăla e deschis...ca fapt divers." ("That restaurant over there is open...as a random fact.") It's a jokey expression like the English "just saying": "Hey, I'm not insisting on it or anything, but just throwing this option out there, that's all."
    – Kyralessa
    Jun 14, 2019 at 11:58

8 Answers 8


I would translate it as

(Nur) Ums mal zu erwähnen. / Ums mal erwähnt zu haben.


Wills nur mal gesagt haben.


Falls ihrs noch nicht wusstet. / Nur damit ihrs wisst.

But to be honest I wouldn't add another sentence, I would add another word at the beginning at the sentence to achieve your intention

Übrigens (By the way)

which leads to

Übrigens, da ist ein Restaurant in der Nähe.

Übrigens, da läuft ein neuer Film mit Schwarzenegger.

  • 2
    There are apostrophes missing: "Will's nur...", "Falls ihr's ..." and "Nur damit ihr's wisst". These all are contracted "es". Jun 7, 2019 at 9:13
  • 1
    @rexkogitans thank you for your annotation. Since 1996's Rechtschreibreform you can write it both ways.
    – mtwde
    Jun 7, 2019 at 11:18
  • 4
    I'd actually add the "übrigens" at the end.
    – ths
    Jun 7, 2019 at 11:48

Kann man fast wörtlich übersetzen:

Ich sag's nur.

Wie πάντα ῥεῖ anmerkt in vielen Variationen denkbar:

  • Ich sag's ja nur.
  • Ich sag's nur mal.
  • Ich erwähn's nur.
  • Wollt ich (ja) nur mal gesagt (erwähnt, angemerkt, ...) haben.
  • Nur für's Protokoll.
  • Nur so zur Info(rmation).
  • Ich mein ja nur.
  • Nur mal so (gesagt).
  • Nebenbei/Nur so am Rande gesagt/angemerkt/bemerkt.
  • 9
    Oder Ich sag's ja nur. Jun 6, 2019 at 20:36
  • 3
    Nur so zur Info wäre noch eine Variante, die mir spontan einfällt. Jun 7, 2019 at 6:51
  • 2
    I would add "Ich mein ja nur" to the list of similar expressions. To me personally that would be the most natural variant.
    – Emil
    Jun 7, 2019 at 9:16
  • 2
    Hier passt auch "nur mal so"
    – npst
    Jun 7, 2019 at 11:28
  • 6
    @πάνταῥεῖ Ich sags ja nur hat für mich einen stark defensiven Charakter und würde von mir in diesem Kontext definitiv nicht verwendet werden. Bsp 1: Heute Abend läuft X im Kino. 2: Ich hab keinen Bock auf Kino 1: Ich sag's ja nur...
    – Kami Kaze
    Jun 7, 2019 at 12:05

just saying is a filling phrase which does not have a close correspondent in German

In most cases, just saying is a filling phrase and could well be omitted without hurting the meaning. However, just saying is a pretty common filling phrase in English. For translating it, it is important to understand that it is much more common in English than any of its translations are in German. So, even if there are translations such as

  • Ich sag's nur.
  • Will ich nur mal gesagt haben.
  • Wollte ich nur mal gesagt haben.
  • (Nur) Um's mal zu erwähnen.
  • Um's mal erwähnt zu haben.

which are even idiomatic in German, you would most probably just omit it in German. That's why I think the closest translation is - as mtwde has already figured - actually

  • Übrigens

because this is the very normal way of introducing some information which might not be super-relevant, just as by the way in English.

You should try to translate the communicative function

Even if just saying is "just" a filling phrase, it surely has a communicative function. For translating, it is more important to keep this function than to translate the mere words: What are situations when just saying is used, and what is the intention of the speaker using it in that certain situation? Unfortunately my English skills are not good enough to make this analysis for English, but if you would provide such an analysis in your question, we could help you finding idiomatic correspondents for each situation in German.

Using just saying as a means to suggest something

For the context of making a suggestion, a German way of fulfilling this communicative function could be to make it a question:

There is a restaurant nearby. Just saying.

Hast du schon von dem neuen Restaurant um die Ecke gehört?

Schwarzenegger, has a new movie out. Just saying.

Hast du schon den neuen Schwarzenegger-Film gesehen?

Obiter Dictum

I believe German not having such a common filling phrase which corresponds to just saying is the reason, why just saying is used as an anglicism in German, especially amongst younger folks. Here, using the anglicism does not only import the (translatable) words, but also imports the habitualness of the filling phrase from English into German.

  • 1
    I did not expect German to use so many anglicisms. It is definitely something to look into when learning the language. Very nice answer. Jun 7, 2019 at 12:57
  • 5
    Good answer. +1 for mentioning the communicative function. Probably the most important aspect.
    – mtwde
    Jun 7, 2019 at 13:31
  • 2
    In English, and in the context given in the question, "Just saying" means "I am hinting that we should go to the place / do the thing I just mentioned, but I don't want to explicitly suggest that" in a slightly jokey way. You can also use "Hey, I was just saying!" if someone reacts badly to a suggestion you make: "Let's go swimming!" "What? Get our hair all wet right before we go out for the night? Why on earth would we do that?!" "OK, OK, I was just saying!"
    – Vicky
    Jun 7, 2019 at 13:36
  • 4
    @Vicky as a native American English speaker, I feel that the expression means that you're not making the suggestion because you want it, but that you think it might be helpful for the other party. If you mention that there's a nearby restaurant, "just sayin'", you're not going to feel miffed if the group decides they don't want to go there, or don't want to eat right at that moment. The suggestion is strictly for their benefit.
    – user151841
    Jun 7, 2019 at 20:11
  • 2
    @jonathan.scholbach Yes, as a native American English speaker, I hear an added "Just saying." as meaning "It's not that I especially want to act on this. I merely thought it could be helpful information. It's fine with me if we act on it or not." Though in some situations with enough context and/or a sarcastic tone, it could instead be used to throw humor on how much I do want to act on the info.
    – aschepler
    Jun 8, 2019 at 14:36

I don't really think, we have this figure. I mean, yes "ich mein ja nur" works pretty well as a translation, but it could be perceived as passive aggressive.

If we're hungry and I want to suggest a restaurant, I'd rather use something like "Es gäbe auch ein Restaurant in der Nähe".

I.e. I'd choose a formulation/proposal with a subjunctive.


A phrase that I would use and I haven't seen in another answer yet is, "nur so nebenbei", literally "just as an aside."


Funny enough, there is a German idiom which fits in many situations quite nicely and means, taken literally, almost the opposite:

Ich will ja nichts sagen, aber ...

That phrase is a little cocky, but so is the English one ("just saying" with a little shrug can be pretty disrespectful). Both can be used in situations where somebody misses something obvious, often something they should prevent: While you are working on something, in the back it all falls apart ("ich will ja nichts sagen, aber dahinten fällt alles wieder um"); grandpa's tie is hanging in the soup while he's holding the Thanksgiving speech ("ich will ja nichts sagen, aber Dein Schlips hängt in der Suppe"), or a disappointing vernissage ("ich will ja nichts sagen, aber das könnte mein kleines Kind auch").

I think the German phrase indicates that the speaker is just an observer who is not exactly in the position to officially intervene, as the examples show. That's why the speaker officially "doesn't want to say anything". That's similar to the meaning of "just saying": It's not an official statement from somebody in a position to make one but a remark in passing that may or may not (tongue-in-cheek) interest the addressee.


Da drüben ist ein Restaurant. Nur mal so.

This would be my choice as a native speaker. It's appropriate for informal situations among not too old people, which I think is the intention of the question.

Other options mentioned above could be too formal/long/unwieldy. But this is also personal taste. Depends on how explicit or implicit you want to be with your hint. It's a difficult balance. The point is to be subtle, but not so subtle that no one gets it.


"ich mein ja nur", everything else doesn't make sense.

  • 2
    While your suggestion is good there is ample evidence in the other answers that the assertion "everything else doesn't make sense" is incorrect ;-). Feb 17, 2021 at 9:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.